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Why RB Matt Forte is a good fit for the Dolphins

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Can Forte still be a starting running back? (0:46)

Merril Hoge explains why there's no question that Matt Forte has plenty to contribute to a NFL team as a starting running back, while not faulting the Chicago Bears from moving on from the 30-year-old. (0:46)

Last year Miami Dolphins rookie head coach Adam Gase was the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. Gase knows running back Matt Forte well and used him extensively in his offense last season.

That is just the starting point of why Forte would be a natural fit with the Dolphins.

Forte announced via social media Friday that the Bears will not re-sign the eight-year veteran. He will be an unrestricted free agent in March and should generate some interest on the open market. The Dolphins and Gase also should be one of the first teams lining up for Forte’s services.

Gase is in the process of implementing a new offense that Forte knows well. Despite battling through injures, he rushed for 898 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games last season. Forte also had 44 receptions and has been one of the NFL's most versatile backs in his career.

The Dolphins also have a need at running back with starter Lamar Miller a pending free agent. Miller had his moments with the Dolphins but was often underutilized. Miller understandably has questions whether he is a good fit in Miami and may seek greener pastures.

That potentially leaves the door open for Forte, who is a more complete running back. Forte is a natural receiver out of the backfield and better at picking up the blitz, which are two areas Miller has struggled in his career. Forte, when healthy, can help make life easier for quarterback Ryan Tannehill entering his fifth season in both the run and passing game.

The only downside is Forte is 30. Historically, that is a bad age for running backs as they begin to hit the downside of their careers. Still, potentially adding Forte at a reasonable price would be a solid offseason move for a Dolphins offense that desperately needs stability and proven production.